Do you wish you could run iOS apps on Windows? You’re not alone and let me be frank: it’s not possible. Here’s what is possible, though.
The fluid, intuitive and aesthetically pleasing user interface, as well as a wide selection of high quality apps, have earned iOS many fans. Since Apple does not permit an open app market, access to the App Store is restricted to iOS devices. The closest you will get to running iOS on Windows, is a simulator that provides you with a similar look and feel as Apple’s original.
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iPadian is a free iPad simulator for PCs running Windows XP or higher. It overlays itself on your desktop and requires no installation, you simply download the file from the iPadian website or cnet.com, extract the archive and run the ipadian.exe file. It launches an alternative desktop that looks and feels like an iPad home screen.
Access To The App Store
It is not possible to download apps from iTunes since iPhone, iPad and iPod apps are encrypted with Apple’s FairPlay DRM technology. What the guys at iPadian have done is to create a custom app store that currently contains slightly over 300 hundred popular apps, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Angry Birds, Cut The Rope and many more. They continue to add apps to the store based on user demand. The store has 8 app categories as the screen shot below shows.
Do The Apps Work?
Using Windows 7, I tested out a few of the apps in the custom store to see if they worked and found that the majority are fully functional. In addition to the browser and Gmail which are available in Windows, I tested out several other apps to see how they functioned.
The iPadian Instagram app allows you to log into Instagram using the web-based API. Thus, while you can browse your photos, view/change your account details and manage authorized applications, you won’t be able to upload any photos.
Among the 34 music apps in the iPadian app store, Spotify is one of those that work very well.
The iPadian store currently has 21 networking apps and Kik Messenger is the the only messaging app that actually works.
Cut The Rope
Games such as Cut the Rope (shown below) or Angry Birds and Clan Wars worked without a hitch when I tested them.
Facebook & WhatsApp
However, much as I tried to use the Facebook app, it didn’t work for me. The app gets stuck trying to connect to the server and always ends in a failed connection attempt. The custom WhatsApp app also has its fair share of issues. It actually isn’t a real application. iPadian uses a free web interface to WhatsApp that allows you to send someone a free WhatsApp message right from your desktop. The service they use does not work.
The minimum specs to run iPadian on your Windows PC are:
- Windows XP and above
- The download file is 35 MB
- At least 512 MB RAM but 1GB is recommended for best performance
- You also need Adobe Air installed on your PC
iPadian is not an iOS emulator in the same way that BlueStacks emulates Android. We are yet to see a real emulator with access to Apple’s App Store. At the most, iPadian simulates the look and feel of an iOS device and at the least it’s like using iOS skins for Windows, with the added bonus of actually being able to use a couple of popular apps. But, despite this, it has no touch-screen support so you won’t be able to use a touch-screen monitor on Windows 8. For now you are limited to point-and-click with the mouse.
Thanks to the MakeUseOf Answers community for inspiring this article! If you try this, leave a comment and let us know how well it works.